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View Full Version : why go $ when you can go $$$ ?



fretie
03-18-2014, 12:21 PM
I see, in your signatures, that many of you have some less expensive ukes, say in the $100 - $200 price range, mixed in with higher end ukes, like those in the $800 - $1000 + price range.

When and why would you opt to play a lower end uke when you could go with one of your higher end instruments?

della-belle
03-18-2014, 12:39 PM
I think if I am ever able to own a high level uke like that it will be all kinds of special to me, and I wouldn't want to risk dropping it just during everyday practice or lug it about travelling with me where it's liable to get damaged/lost.

OldePhart
03-18-2014, 12:41 PM
You can't measure everything in $...or even $$$.

There are times when I'd rather play my Mainland mango tenor than my KoAloha Pineapple Sunday.

There are times when I'd rather play my Mainland mahogany soprano than any of my other ukes.

And, sometimes (though, granted, not often), I even like to pick up the little $30 plastic "Woodi" uke (since I filed the zero fret down for better intonation).

Just depends on my mood.

John

OldePhart
03-18-2014, 12:45 PM
I think if I am ever able to own a high level uke like that it will be all kinds of special to me, and I wouldn't want to risk dropping it just during everyday practice or lug it about travelling with me where it's liable to get damaged/lost.

Traveling you have a point especially if you would have to trust it to the tender mercies of a baggage handler or, in my case, strap it to the back of a motorcycle. But, I hope I never own anything that I'm afraid to use for "everyday practice" because at that point whatever it is owns me!

John

Hippie Dribble
03-18-2014, 12:49 PM
I wouldn't. I had a whole swag of cheaper ukes but the process of buying and selling has helped me to understand what builders I prefer and so I gave away and sold off the cheaper ones and now have just a small handful of expensive ones that I play regularly and which sound fantastic to my ears. I don't understand the rationale behind buying something expensive then not travelling and playing with it for fear of damaging/losing it. Nothing irks me more than a silenced instrument. Buy the best sounding instrument you can reasonably afford and PLAY.

3 caveats: (i) cheaper ones are handy for when a curious friend or relative visits and are interested to learn. One can lend or give away and share some of the love and help start someone on their journey (ii) every blue moon there'll be a cheapo that just sounds awesome so in such an instance it makes sense to keep it.(iii) sentiment. I still have my first uke, a 25 buck mahalo soprano which I couldn't ever part with.

:2cents:

janeray1940
03-18-2014, 01:00 PM
I wouldn't, either. I've owned a couple "$" ukes and while both were better than owning no uke at all, once I discovered "$$$" ukes (assuming this covers K-brands on up) the $ ukes became dust collectors, then eventually got re-homed. Ukes that go unplayed just depress me, regardless of cost.

I get the whole idea of a travel uke, but I've traveled several times with a Kamaka and it's never been a problem. I see it this way: there's just as much chance of something going wrong and my "good" ukes getting damaged or stolen while I'm away from home. My renter's policy is supposed to cover this regardless. If I travelled more frequently, or more... ruggedly/adventurously, perhaps I'd feel differently, but even then, I'd probably just find a second-hand Kamaka in less than stellar condition and use that as my travel uke.

Ukejenny
03-18-2014, 01:02 PM
If it has the sound, feel, and build you love, the price shouldn't matter.

UkerDanno
03-18-2014, 02:07 PM
My solid Koa Martin stays in the case with an oasis humidifier, it's easier to grab a laminate off the wall and strum a few songs. My KA-SLNG is decent sounding and plays nice, just that the volume and sustain isn't quite up to the C1K or the style 0 for that matter!

Kayak Jim
03-18-2014, 02:15 PM
What Dan said.

I keep a laminate uke on the couch and noodle on it anytime I'm watching the tube or just killing a few minutes. My better instruments are in cases brought out when it is practice time.

Mim
03-18-2014, 02:44 PM
I don't have to worry about my low end ukes. My Ohana SK-10BL gets a lot of play... a little laminte mahogany soprano. And when I perform out I play with my Kala Spruce/ Spalted Maple concert. It is my first uke. It is dinged up and is quite loves. But I have a strap button in it, can sling it on my back or set it on a table and I don't have to worry about it. That being said, I know what higher end uke I want. I am just waiting for it to be made. But it will be quite babied. I don't have to baby my lower ends.

And UAS is strong and if you want one of every size with varying tonewoods, not everyone can buy them all at the high end price point! Hehe!

Booli
03-18-2014, 02:57 PM
[I'm sorry of this is too long or seems off-topic, I promise there is a point, and I do make it, this is not a small answer as this is something integral to all the things that I do - feel free to chastise me kindly if necessary]

Not all of us can drop serious coin on a custom or K brand from day one. Lots of times, it's a pattern of stepping stones, and this is evident in countless tales here in the UU forum. Some of us hold on to our first cheaper ukes, and probably all for different reasons.

On ALL of my cheaper ukes, I've learned how, and performed myself fine tuning procedures as needed for each instrument.

Some needed nut slots re-cut, some needed a whole new nut, some needed fret leveling and crowning, and some needed saddle or bridge work.

For example, on my cheapie $26 Mahalo U-30 soprano, I did ALL of these (thanks to excellent videos from OldePhart), and now it plays like a dream and intonation is within 3-cents up to the 9th or 10th fret.

Why bother, some might ask?

Well, I have this annoying habit of wanting to be self-reliant, and be able to maintain and repair the things I own, whether it be a bicycle, lawnmower, car, computer, or a musical instrument. It forces me to learn things, and to keep my brain from developing atrophy.

With a cheap uke, if I completely mess up and it's FUBAR, then I did not lose lots of money, and if I succeed, then not only did I learn something, but I was able to fix the intonation and playability issues on a $100 uke such that it plays like one that was manufactured to a higher standard (if it is of a certain minimum level to begin with).

Yea, I know I can spend $500 for a Martin tenor, but will the action and intonation be 'exactly' how I want it? Even if the vendor does a full setup, 'MAYBE', but if I learnt to do it myself, and understand all the mechanics and the string geometry, then I can get it perfect to my taste, and make adjustments in the future if necessary instead of paying a 'guitar tech' to do it. I have found no true luthiers local to me in NJ, and if I have to pay shipping both ways, I might as well just buy the tools from StewMac or LMII, and learn to do it myself.

It's like driving a car, but not having a clue as to how to change a flat tire or check your oil or coolant levels, or how to use jumper cables if your battery is dead, and also be able to remediate these items. Sure, you can call roadside assistance, but if you are fit and able-bodied, and you are ignorant or unwilling, it would seem careless and/or unconscionably lazy for me to not resolve the problem with my own hands. That's the way that *I* am, I enjoy DIY. It keeps me out of trouble (for the most part).

Working on indoor projects keeps me from messing with my car (with wild ideas like Doc from 'Back To The Future'), but I can do my own tune-up, oil changes, tire rotation, body work, and basically any kind of electrical or electronic repair, all by myself.

The same concept applies to my instruments.

Also, it was not until I had better instruments ($$) that I was able to really see the flaws in the ones that I had bought previously. Being able to see the good vs. the bad, IN MY own HANDS, and not in a book, or on a web site or YT video, I could better understand the issues with the instrument, and better understand HOW and IF I would be able to fix it.

This hands-on perception has also allowed me to see WHY a Moore Bettah or Mya-Moe or a Martin or a K brand might be a 'better' instrument than a Kala or a Lanikai. Without the hands-on it seems all like hype and voodoo that you can only read about here on UU.

So far out of 4 ukes that needed work, after my hands-on 'tinkering', ALL of them are better players, with significantly improved intonation, and since I've invested some sweat into them, they are truly MINE, and not something that comes perfect 'off the shelf'. These are ukes I would NOT sell.

Maybe at some point I will pursue luthery as a hobby, but first I would like to achieve a level of mastery with my playing.

Also, if I became a millionaire, I might have a different option, in that I just might be so busy living out my Bucket List that my priorities would shift and then I might allow someone else to handle my precious (to me) instruments.

Mostly, I have this insatiable desire to understand how things work and I will not rest until I do. This applies to all aspects of my life.

Holding on to cheaper instruments allows me to use them as part of the learning experience, and when they play BETTER, they are played MORE OFTEN. Over a 4 days span of time, all 6 of my ukes are in regular rotation in my hands, and all of them serve different functions.

The primary differences and purposes are, for having both low-G and high-g tuning, also having alternate tunings, as well as wanting to maintain a high degree of manual dexterity across all scale lengths.

On the same day I will play both soprano and concert, and maybe the next concert and tenor, and then maybe the next day I will OMG 'walk on the wild side' and go from soprano to baritone. :)

Hypothetically, if I replaced all the cheaper instruments with higher end ones, in order to do so with ALL of my ukes in the $400++ range, I'd be spending a ton of money, which I can not afford right now, so the cheaper ukes allow me this flexibility.

If I win the lottery, yeah, then UAS takes over and I'd instantly buy about 12 more, but higher-end ukes. (I wish - ha ha)

Until then, I nurture the ones that I already have and enjoy them all thoroughly.

-Booli

Booli
03-18-2014, 03:03 PM
And UAS is strong and if you want one of every size with varying tonewoods, not everyone can buy them all at the high end price point! Hehe!

Now that I've written that tome in a previous post, and then seen what Mim has so concisely and eloquently said here, I understand even more why so many people here on UU just LOVE her.

@ Mim: Thank you Mim, for saying something I could not. For what you've said here is also a dormant obsession I've been trying to hide from for some time now, and is only limited by UAS funding (which is in short supply at the moment).

RichM
03-18-2014, 03:11 PM
My two Mainlands were very inexpensive and are wonderful ukes. My cedar/rosewood soporano is here by my desk, ready to be picked up and played. My Kala was one of the very first ukes I owned, and still sounds good to me. Inexpensive doesn't mean bad and expensive doesn't mean good.

pixiepurls
03-18-2014, 03:12 PM
[I'm sorry of this is too long or seems off-topic, I promise there is a point, and I do make it, this is not a small answer as this is something integral to all the things that I do - feel free to chastise me kindly if necessary]

For example, on my cheapie $26 Mahalo U-30 soprano, I did ALL of these (thanks to excellent videos from OldePhart), and now it plays like a dream and intonation is within 3-cents up to the 9th or 10th fret.

-Booli

Are the video's on youtube? I wouldn't mind playing around with my cheap ukes :)

mm stan
03-18-2014, 03:14 PM
Nothing wrong with cheap ukes...if you like the sound of it, play it and keep it....too many uke snobs these days...
it's not about how much it costs, it's if you enjoy your uke t
hat matters...and how it feels and sounds pleasant to you...
it's the journey too, and trying alot of everything..such as in
life... don't deny yourself of oppertunity...

kapahulu50
03-18-2014, 05:28 PM
for me, lower end ones are in the car and can be played by kids and guests.

vanflynn
03-18-2014, 06:39 PM
handy for when a curious friend or relative visits and are interested to learn. One can lend or give away and share some of the love and help start someone on their journey

Bingo Jon. That's why I have a lower end but playable uke sleeping at my house just waiting.

Icelander53
03-18-2014, 06:41 PM
If you love to play the ukulele then, within reason, what you play will be secondary to the playing itself. That's my take on all this dollars and cents stuff.

coolkayaker1
03-18-2014, 06:45 PM
$1000 uke, resale is $800.

$200 uke, resale is $0.

Cost of ownership either way: $200.

Play what sounds best to your ear, play it loud, play it strong; play it in the park, play it all day long. --Dr. Seuss.

Hippie Dribble
03-18-2014, 06:58 PM
$1000 uke, resale is $800.

$200 uke, resale is $0.

Cost of ownership either way: $200.

Play what sounds best to your ear, play it loud, play it strong; play it in the park, play it all day long. --Dr. Seuss.

You can play it in the zoo, you can play it on the loo
You can play it with a nicky nacky bright lime green kazoo...

katysax
03-18-2014, 07:00 PM
The enjoyment of a uke is not a function of the cost. Sometimes it is fun to play a cheap uke and feel good about having gotten a bargain. Sometimes UAS takes over and getting a cheap uke satisfies it for a while. Sometimes a cheap uke has a different wood, or looks pretty or whatever.

coolkayaker1
03-18-2014, 07:02 PM
65017

I'm Theodor. What's all the ballyhoo?

Booli
03-18-2014, 07:06 PM
There's lots of wisdom in this thread. :bowdown:

Hippie Dribble
03-18-2014, 07:18 PM
You can take it to the park, you can play it in the dark
You can strum and hug and cuddle it and listen to it squwaaaak

You can take it on a train, fly it on a plane
Stick it in your backpack in the pouring rain

Oh,a cheapo uke is fun, so say it shall be done:
Twenty bucks is sure enough to rid you of your glum.

Skrik
03-18-2014, 10:03 PM
Because I forgot the good ukulele I have in a rental car in the UK, and although it was recovered, it's still in the UK, being looked after by my parents, until I can pick it up this summer.

And because the custom ukulele I have on order still has not been finished (currently a year late).

So all I have to pluck around on at the moment is a badly painted Dolphin beater that sounds one-dimensional in comparison to the above, but which keeps my fingers supple.

Strumdaddy
03-19-2014, 01:38 AM
Funny this should come up....
I have a couple of mid-priced tenors that I use a lot. One stays at the end of the lounge for when I get a new phrase for one of the tunes I always have going on in my head.... And my "good" K brand stays safely in its case. I occasionally get it out and briefly strum it to remember how sweet it is, then put it away again.
"Enough" I said, "this is silly, I finally got this beauty and it never gets REALLY played".
So I put it on the end of the lounge instead of the other uke.
All was going well until I left it with its gig bag unzipped (I was coming back to it, but didn't), my wife moved it - unzipped, into a corner. I came along next day, picked up the case by the handle and AHHHHHHH watched the uke flip out of its case, spin around in slow-motion, and land face down on the wooden floor. I was devastated, so where my family.....
What at first looked like a crack in the spruce top I later found to be a only a gouge, and I lost a tiny sliver of ebony from the binding. I found it and did some micro surgery. It came up pretty good, it's actually hard to see any damage unless you look hard.

Did I put the uke back in the cupboard? No. I found a more secure way of keeping it handy.
Do I regret doing it? No. I still feel that it's a waste (for me) - and possibly an insult to the luthier, to have a beautiful instrument and not play it HEAPS.
Will I be more careful with it from now on? Oh yes.
Do I smile when I play it?.....................

Pukulele Pete
03-19-2014, 02:02 AM
$1000 uke, resale is $800.

$200 uke, resale is $0.

Cost of ownership either way: $200

Play what sounds best to your ear, play it loud, play it strong; play it in the park, play it all day long. --Dr. Seuss.

I'd like to put in a bid of $25 for that $200 uke. Some ukes are toys,
some ukes are playable toys and some ukes are musical instruments.

Icelander53
03-19-2014, 03:59 AM
I know I could get something for a $200 Ukulele on Craigslist. It would probably sell for around $50 and sell in a couple of days.

stevepetergal
03-19-2014, 04:38 AM
Two very nice instruments:
A high G and a low G for practice and performance

and two less expensive:
A high G and a Low G to take to work (on occasion)

I always travel with one (or both) of the better ukuleles (even on the motorcycle). Never know when you might want to sound good.

Captain America
03-19-2014, 04:44 AM
Good reasoning all around here. . .

For me, I have MANY interests and I'm a pretty casual guy: I don't want to have to worry that much about keeping expensive things in top condition. In other words, it keeps me mellow to have cheaper instruments and not have to worry about them.

I think the only area in my life where I'll do the Excess Care and Caution of Material Possessions thing is tennis equipment.

OldePhart
03-19-2014, 04:51 AM
I always travel with one (or both) of the better ukuleles (even on the motorcycle). Never know when you might want to sound good.

Heh, heh. Yeah, my worry is not so much about damage as having to unstrap the thing and take it with me every time I take a bio break or something. I don't mind sticking a $400 factory uke in my duffle and leaving it for a few minutes when traveling...I don't think I could bring myself to do that with the BP or the Pineapple Sunday...

John

Icelander53
03-19-2014, 06:25 AM
That's one of the interesting things about valuing possessions. They can also end up possessing us and limiting our freedom. I experienced this like most everyone likely does. It's one reason I've come to opt for things I can "afford" to lose. I could buy a $4000 dollar uke, I have the money. But I fear it would not bring me much more joy and likely less than that $300 or less ones I buy and never fret (pun) about. :) Your milage may vary.

janeray1940
03-19-2014, 06:40 AM
That's one of the interesting things about valuing possessions. They can also end up possessing us and limiting our freedom.

This is really true to me, and one of the reasons I only have a few ukes - owning a lot of stuff has always made me feel sort of suffocated by my possessions. I'm better off with a couple of really nice things (ukes or otherwise) that I really love and take really good care of, but am not so attached to that should something happen to those things, my world would end.

And this is also why with one exception, my ukes are all what I consider mid-range (my criteria: each costing less to replace than a month's rent in Southern California, although I own one exception to this general rule). I would be way more stressed out owning a uke that was a custom work of art with a price tag to match. Mine are pretty pedestrian Kamakas; as much as I love them individually, as long as the Kamaka factory remains in business and as long as I have a job, they are replaceable.

pixiepurls
03-19-2014, 06:52 AM
That's one of the interesting things about valuing possessions. They can also end up possessing us and limiting our freedom. I experienced this like most everyone likely does. It's one reason I've come to opt for things I can "afford" to lose. I could buy a $4000 dollar uke, I have the money. But I fear it would not bring me much more joy and likely less than that $300 or less ones I buy and never fret (pun) about. :) Your milage may vary.

I once bought a Doonie and Burke purse that cost $400. I felt silly walking around with it. Seriously. Loads of women walk around with Coach purses that cost the same or more. I just felt silly. Apparently $200 is the limit I am willing to spend on a good purse if it will last me a few years. I am very happy with my current purse AND nordstroms replaced it with a brand new one a year later because the strap was fraying!

I like nice things, Im a bit of a snob when it comes to my "tools" I have a very nice camera that I shoot with (I earned it with paid gigs) and as a knitter I knit with very nice yarn. In general any of my tools tend to be good tools and I like to take care of them but one reason I got the better camera was because its weather sealed and I have gone out in a light rain with it which was really nice and fun. So basically form and function must come together for me.

For Ukulele even as a newbie I don't want to learn on a crap instrument, I want to learn on something good but there is a line. For a lot of people it seems to be $200. Good news is you can get a very nice instrument for $200!

If I get something decent and popular it won't be hard to resell. When I buy my tools I know I tend to spend a few years going from hobby to hobby so I always think about re-sale possibilities. I've sold tools to fund new hobbies, so its worked out well for me. I once sold a spinning wheel it was worth more when i sold it then when I purchased it :) but I sold it to a friend and took a $50 loss which was fine because she was my best friend. But I could have actually made money on it because I did a lot of research before I bought it.

rambling..

peaceweaver3
03-19-2014, 07:02 AM
Traveling you have a point especially if you would have to trust it to the tender mercies of a baggage handler or, in my case, strap it to the back of a motorcycle. But, I hope I never own anything that I'm afraid to use for "everyday practice" because at that point whatever it is owns me!

John

Agree! And re. your other post, if I truly felt a more expensive uke, $-wise, were worth it to me for its sound and/or build qualities, I'd buy it. Not because "It must be better, since it costs more," but because for whatever reason, it was worth it to me personally. And at this point, nothing has been. Thus I'm happy with the Flea sitting literally right in front of my face. :D

ksiegel
03-19-2014, 08:15 AM
I have a lot of different ukuleles. They all have different voices, and all feel different to play. With only a couple of exceptions, I rotate which I bring with me to open mic nights and uke clubs.

I don't bring the Waverly Street out in the winter - the soundboard is super thin, and there is a small crack that comes out when the humidity is super low - in other words, Winter in Upstate NY.

I don't bring the KoAloha Scepter out when it is raining, snowing, or the humidity is way low, either.

Beyond that, I choose my instrument based on my mood, not price.



-Kurt

kohanmike
03-19-2014, 08:29 AM
It's really amazing to me the timing of posts, over the last few days I've been contemplating where I am with all the ukes I bought in the last 7 months of playing. I'm definitely caught in UAS, they're all low-mid level factory ukes that I got for bargain prices. I chose mainly for looks, but lately as I've improved, I'm seeing the short comings of most of them, so after wafting back forth between a nice Kala cedar/acacia koa for $375, or getting an expensive custom gypsy style made, I finally decided to trade in 3 of my least used for the Kala and hold off on an expensive custom for a while.

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Kala cedar 2.JPG

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Gypsy D hole.jpg

Kayak Jim
03-19-2014, 11:14 AM
I finally decided to trade in 3 of my least used for the Kala and hold off on an expensive custom for a while.


There goes your signature! :rolleyes:

pixiepurls
03-19-2014, 11:27 AM
It's really amazing to me the timing of posts, over the last few days I've been contemplating where I am with all the ukes I bought in the last 7 months of playing. I'm definitely caught in UAS, they're all low-mid level factory ukes that I got for bargain prices. I chose mainly for looks, but lately as I've improved, I'm seeing the short comings of most of them, so after wafting back forth between a nice Kala cedar/acacia koa for $375, or getting an expensive custom gypsy style made, I finally decided to trade in 3 of my least used for the Kala and hold off on an expensive custom for a while.


I love my kala, it was $300. I can't see myself wanting or needing another Tenor.

Icelander53
03-19-2014, 11:29 AM
That's what I thought when I got my first Lanikai. lol

Pueo
03-19-2014, 11:49 AM
I have never sold any of my ukuleles, never had a reason or need to.
I have a couple of expensive ukuleles.
I have many inexpensive ukuleles.
I have two that I got for FREE!
One of my favorites to play is my $99 Epiphone Les Paul. It is also surprising how many positive comments that ukulele gets here in Hawaii where many people have expensive ukuleles.
If you like it, does it really matter how much it cost?
If I go over to someone's house, say for a party, I really don't want to bring an expensive ukulele, because I would not want to be the jerk being all paranoid about who is doing what to it. So I take a Kala and I don't really mind.
If I'm going to perform, then I will usually take a nicer one.

kohanmike
03-19-2014, 03:20 PM
Jim - Just changed my signature, still lays out pretty well.

pixiepuls - Having it setup but it was pretty good anyway, especially the pickup balance. Really looking forward to using it.

sam13
03-19-2014, 06:02 PM
for me, lower end ones are in the car and can be played by kids and guests.

Precisely the reason why I am looking at a great quality Gretsch 9120SM ... well said.

AndrewKuker
03-19-2014, 07:30 PM
I play high end and low end. Playing uke is fun, on either end.

fretie
03-19-2014, 08:05 PM
I play high end and low end. Playing uke is fun, on either end.


Nicely said, Andrew! :shaka:

flailingfingers
03-20-2014, 06:43 AM
I don't understand the rationale behind buying something expensive then not travelling and playing with it for fear of damaging/losing it. Nothing irks me more than a silenced instrument. Buy the best sounding instrument you can reasonably afford and PLAY.

3 caveats: (i) cheaper ones are handy for when a curious friend or relative visits and are interested to learn. One can lend or give away and share some of the love and help start someone on their journey (ii) every blue moon there'll be a cheapo that just sounds awesome so in such an instance it makes sense to keep it.(iii) sentiment. I still have my first uke, a 25 buck mahalo soprano which I couldn't ever part with.
:

I agree. I have one very expensive, incredible uke and I play it ALL the time because it sounds so beautiful and plays so easily. Why not? Playing a simple chord puts me in another world. I also travel with it (hard case carry on). However I have the original "beginner" uke I started with. It sounds very good and plays easily. I keep it for rough outings like the beach or camping. It comes in most handy when a friend wants to try a uke. I have waves of uke envy (UAS) but have resisted them. When I feel the lust coming on I have a session with my really good uke and the lust disappears. I went through the acquisition thing years ago with guitars and learned my lesson. Buy the best right off the bat (after making sure you are really in love with the sport) and just play the damn thing. ALOT.

jackwhale
03-20-2014, 04:36 PM
Great discussion but what stood out for me was the revelation that oldphart straps a uke on his motorcycle! I was about to say that I carry my Collings everywhere and don't ever want to be without it. If it gets cracked I'd just take it to our favorite luthier, John Jordan in Concord and he'd make the damage disappear.

But I won't say that. If I still had my Triumph 650, I'd carry the Pono. And be the coolest guy on the planet. I'm assuming old phart is the coolest guy on the planet, if you don't count Eugene from Tasmania and the kayaker from Illinois.

Dwjkerr
03-20-2014, 06:08 PM
I buy $ ukes because, at my income level, it would take more than UAS to justify the purchase of a $$$ uke

coolkayaker1
03-21-2014, 02:35 AM
Oldpharte drives a Harley Hog and Jackwhale sports a Triumph 650, while I tool around on a fenderless, tenth-owner Schwinn with a stamped aluminum bell. Who's cool now?

OldePhart
03-21-2014, 03:45 AM
Great discussion but what stood out for me was the revelation that oldphart straps a uke on his motorcycle! I was about to say that I carry my Collings everywhere and don't ever want to be without it. If it gets cracked I'd just take it to our favorite luthier, John Jordan in Concord and he'd make the damage disappear.

But I won't say that. If I still had my Triumph 650, I'd carry the Pono. And be the coolest guy on the planet. I'm assuming old phart is the coolest guy on the planet, if you don't count Eugene from Tasmania and the kayaker from Illinois.

Heh, heh. It's likely the motorcycle will be my transportation to UWC this year - 1900 mile round trip which means leaving the bike occasionally - I'll probably stuff the uke case inside my duffle surrounded with clothes and strap that on the bike. Even an "inexpensive" uke strapped to the sissy bar would probably be too great a temptation for some...

John

OldePhart
03-21-2014, 03:52 AM
Oldpharte drives a Harley Hog and Jackwhale sports a Triumph 650, while I tool around on a fenderless, tenth-owner Schwinn with a stamped aluminum bell. Who's cool now?

Naw, not a hog...I can't afford a sag truck to follow me with spare parts for the long trips... LOL

John

dmecha1012
05-20-2014, 03:35 PM
Actually, there is nothing quite as enjoyable as a lousy sounding Uke.

iamesperambient
05-20-2014, 03:42 PM
I see, in your signatures, that many of you have some less expensive ukes, say in the $100 - $200 price range, mixed in with higher end ukes, like those in the $800 - $1000 + price range.

When and why would you opt to play a lower end uke when you could go with one of your higher end instruments?

simple answer i play inexpensive ukes because i do not make a lot of money and can not afford high end ukes.

Jon Moody
05-20-2014, 05:05 PM
When and why would you opt to play a lower end uke when you could go with one of your higher end instruments?

For some of mine, I bought purely to have one in that size for work purposes (research & development for new strings, trying things out based on player comments, etc..). And with that criteria, price was a fairly large consideration. However, I bought those ones at Elderly at the store, so I could sit and play all of them to find the ones that "spoke" to me in tone and playability.

I still play my Boat Paddle the most, as it's the one I have the most connection with (I mean, it has the inlay of my daughter's newborn footprint on the fretboard), but it isn't the one I will gig out with all the time. It gets the bulk, but all of them have been on the bandstand in some capacity.

jcarlos
05-20-2014, 05:14 PM
I have one expensive uke and several $200-300 ukes(i don't know if thats what we are considering inexpensive in this topic? or $50..) Anyways I rarely play the expensive one, and I have a rule of not taking it out of the house, cause I don't want anything to happen to it. Its fun to play, but is it more fun than my other ukes, no. I have more fun when I can play care free and let others play, and not have to worry about my instrument being damaged. As well as not having to worry about it so much when I travel. I've learned from it though, I don't really want another expensive instrument anytime soon, maybe when I'm old,maybe...

TG&Y
05-22-2014, 04:14 AM
$$$ can't buy color harmony...

66956

Sporin
05-22-2014, 05:38 AM
I buy $ ukes because, at my income level, it would take more than UAS to justify the purchase of a $$$ uke


simple answer i play inexpensive ukes because i do not make a lot of money and can not afford high end ukes.

That's pretty much where I'm at :) My $$$ uke is the Kala spruce top which lists for under $200, though the pickup and such added up. My $ uke is a $50 Dolphin I got off Amazon. That's the one I take to the beach, and pack in luggage.

I do think that a lot of folks, once they move on to the K-brands and customs, "forget" or maybe don't realize how GOOD a lot of the ukes are in the $200-$300 range. That price point is producing some decidedly excellent production ukuleles right now.

OldePhart
05-22-2014, 08:30 AM
You painted your bug to match your uke?! Man, that is dedication! :)

John


$$$ can't buy color harmony...

66956

SoCal Ukester 713
05-22-2014, 08:41 AM
I have a few guitars in the "higher end" price range, but no ukes yet. (Well...maybe the Kiwaya KTS-6, but it's used, and I got a good deal.) I'd like to own a really nice koa K-brand tenor someday...and a few vintage Martins.

But I'll always play less expensive ukes, too. Just because a uke has a higher price doesn't mean it's gonna be more fun or inspiring to play. Sometimes I hear a riff or a song idea better when playing on one of my cheaper instruments. Also, I like having a travel uke -- one that sounds decent but wouldn't break my heart if it got scratched or dinged.

chuck in ny
05-22-2014, 09:22 AM
my fluke is supremely well done, great intonation, easy to play, good resonance and sustain. it's a keeper. what it lacks are overtones and that's where fine woodwork comes in. this small detail looms large.

Ukejenny
05-22-2014, 09:51 AM
If you like it, does it really matter how much it cost?


I don't think it matters.

I want something that will sound great and take a beating, so I'm going to ask Santa to bring me a Clara for Christmas. Or better yet, for my birthday in August. Or better yet, in June and it can count for my birthday and Christmas.

If I do end up getting a Blackbird Clara, that will probably be my last uke unless something wonderful just falls in my lap. Or I want one of each so I can have a high G and low G at my disposal.

TG&Y
05-22-2014, 10:43 AM
You should see my spalted mango '65 bus...


You painted your bug to match your uke?! Man, that is dedication! :)

John

Pundabaya
05-22-2014, 02:01 PM
Some ukes are toys, some ukes are playable toys and some ukes are musical instruments.

Nah, by my reckoning, all ukes are toys. Some cost more than others, but they're all things that people play with to enjoy themselves. (That extends to all musical instruments, of course. Except the accordion. The only possible reason to play those is to cause others pain. ;) )

OldePhart
05-22-2014, 02:07 PM
...Except the accordion. The only possible reason to play those is to cause others pain. ;) )

Let's not forget the great highland pipes...which raises the question...just how drunk did some poor Scotsman of yore have to be to look at a cow's udder and say, "hmmm what would happen if I blew into this thing?" :)

John

PereBourik
05-22-2014, 02:24 PM
I'm a high$ low$ serial offender. Some is due to the learning curve. Some is due to simple desire. and some to fit a niche. It's really great when one fits a couple of niches, the Clara for instance has great sound and outdoor sturdiness. All the others have a certain character that keeps them in play. I haven't re-homed my low-cost ukes, but will have no trouble making a gift of them if the opportunity presents itself.

PereBourik
05-22-2014, 02:26 PM
I don't think it matters.

I want something that will sound great and take a beating, so I'm going to ask Santa to bring me a Clara for Christmas. Or better yet, for my birthday in August. Or better yet, in June and it can count for my birthday and Christmas.

If I do end up getting a Blackbird Clara, that will probably be my last uke unless something wonderful just falls in my lap. Or I want one of each so I can have a high G and low G at my disposal.

Clara is wonderful. Mine was a birthday present. I'm going to search for some warmer strings for it. It's love from the start, though. I was able to visit Blackbird in SF to demo one before making the leap. Don't imagine you'll see one in Georgia soon. There's a thread that gives a good review and sound sample. Enjoy.